Posted by: Jo | May 16, 2021

Seeing Through Different Eyes

“The Lord does not look at what man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

(1 Samuel 16: 7)

Many years ago, we had a very, sad occurrence happen in my family when my daughter’s husband suddenly and unexpectedly died. My husband and I wanted to support her and be able to help her in any way we could, so we decided to go and live with her to help her cope with this terrible tragedy, as we had a big gentle Labrador dog, all three of us moved in with her.

My daughter lived in a vastly different area of our city from where we lived, with many ethnic and culturally different people. Living there I learnt some very, valuable lessons. One day I was walking our dog by myself when a very large man came towards me and he looked to me to be quite frightening, with long dreadlocks of hair and nose rings and arms, covered with tattoos. I thought perhaps I should cross over to the other side of the street, but before I could he called out hello to me and knelt down to pat my dog and with a lovely smile chatted with me about the dogs he had owned. My dog loved him immediately and began to wag her tail. I was so ashamed of myself to have judged this man by his appearance when my own dog only saw a kind friend.

We learn very, early in the Bible that our Heavenly Father does not look at outward appearances but looks at hearts (1 Samuel 16: 7)

It is so easy for us to assume something about another person and either judge them or be impressed with what they wear or the car they drive or how beautiful they are. Paul warns new believers about also admiring people for the wrong reason and ensures his readers that he does not do this.

“As for those who seem to be more important- whatever they were makes no difference to me, God does not judge by external appearances- those men added nothing to my message.” (Galatians 2: 6)

Jesus himself, urged his listeners at the temple and of course all of us who desire to follow him, to stop judging others by appearances.

“Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgement.” (John 7: 24)

I learnt a very valuable lesson, strangely emphasized by my dog, by seeing that judging by appearances can be so misleading and during that time we were living in that neighborhood I actually looked forward to walking my dog and meeting and chatting with others who did not look like me but proved to be interesting and willing to talk to me and my dog. When we accept each other, we start to obey that beautiful command of Jesus.

“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13: 34)


  1. Thank you Jo for reminding us to look beyond what we see..It is so easy to be judgmental about appearances but wouldn’t it be dreadful if we were all the same?


  2. A wonderful lesson here, Jo. so very true. It is so nice when “different” strangers will engage in a friendly conversation, and we become just a wee bit wiser. Yes, we all need dogs.


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